Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is well known for being in amazing shape. In that article on ESPN Jesse Rogers talks about Jake’s offseason fitness. Historically he said, pitchers didn’t view fitness as something they needed to be aware of. Pitchers usually came to the ballpark, threw off the mound, did long toss, and went home. Jake Arrieta is very different in how he views fitness. He relies on fitness to help him get through the long season to maintain his health, which is smart as that’s how he’s earning a living.
With the article Jake spoke about the 5 days in between starts and what he normally does.
On day 1 he considers in a “Flush Day” which is where he goes for a nice run to help him rebound a quickly as possible. After the run he focuses on mobility and stability, flexibility, as well as recovery. He said he recently purchased 2 pilates machines and will start to make those part of his routine, and he said he also likes Beachbody routines like P90X3 and others like Yoga and 21 Day fix.
On the second day he reports that it’s a bullpen day. Before he throws he uses the foam roller for around 20-30 minutes to get the body lose and revved up to throw. He started foam rolling in college and finds that it really helps him get loose and ready to pitch. He also finds that it helps long term by minimizing issues like hip flexor strains, quad strains etc.
His side session on these days is anywhere from 40-50 pitches, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of the season he is just trying to get his body back to ready to pitch on the 5th day. He likes to mimic the feeling of a 6,7 or 8th inning, so he runs around a bit before the session to increase his fatigue.
On day 3 it’s a much slower day, he likes to play light catch, and it’s back to the same routines by working with TRX to help with his flexibility, and open up his lats.
On Day 4, which is the day before his next start, he starts with an intermediate catch, so that’s anywhere from 90-150 feet as he just wants to get things going. He focuses on his arm slot, the rotation of the ball, and making sure he finishes on the ball of his left foot.
On game day he likes to get to the stadium early, foam roll, meditate, and focus on the game plan. He also likes to eat 2 meals before his start, and in his words his diet is.
It doesn’t really change from day to day and it’s been an evolution over the course of my life. I try and avoid your simple carbohydrates like white pastas, white breads, white rice. They are void of the bran and the fiber; those are the two things your body needs to have the sense of being full. If you take those things out, your body won’t understand when its full so you eat a large quantity of those foods and that’s why you feel sluggish after meals like that. The fiber is the thing that helps your body digests things properly. I like to find meals that keep me full for an extended period of time so I decrease the amount of low energy or sluggishness throughout the day.